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Eligibility

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Competitive Merit Promotion


To be eligible under competitive merit promotion, you must be:

A current or former (reinstatement eligible) permanent Federal civilian employee under a competitive career or career-conditional appointment.

To claim eligibility under competitive merit promotion, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

A copy of your most recent SF-50 reflecting current position information and competitive status (SF-50 box #24 – 1 or 2, box #34 - 1), AND if the most recent SF-50 does not show your highest grade held, then you MUST also submit a copy of an SF-50 that reflects your highest grade held on a permanent basis (No award 50’s will be accepted).

Non-Competitive Merit Promotion


To be eligible under non-competitive merit promotion, you must be:

A Current or former (reinstatement eligible) competitive, career/career-conditional Federal employee who has previously held, currently holds, the full performance level of the position you are applying.

To claim eligibility under non-competitive merit promotion, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

A copy of your most recent or past SF-50 in order to verify your claim for non-competitive eligibility. If the most recent SF-50 does not show your highest grade competed for or held, then you MUST also submit a copy of an SF-50 that reflects your highest grade held on a permanent basis.

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA)


The VEOA allows veterans' preference eligibles and other veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions to apply and be considered for certain vacancies that are otherwise open only to status or reinstatement-eligible applicants outside of DOI.

To be eligible under VEOA, you must be one of the following:

  • A veterans' preference eligible; or
  • A veteran who was separated from the armed forces after substantially completing three or more years of continuous active service performed under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or general discharge).

To claim eligibility under VEOA, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

  • A copy of your DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," preferably the Member 4 copy, showing the dates of active duty, type of discharge, and character of service (must be honorable; (this means an honorable or general discharge)).

Note for Active duty service members expecting to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days: you may be granted tentative preference by submitting a "certification" document in lieu of a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD 214.  A “certification” is any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions within 120 days after the certification is submitted by the applicant.

  • If you are claiming eligibility based on 10-point veterans' preference (CPS, CP, XP), you are required to submit documentation that is indicated on the SF-15 as acceptable proof of verification of your preference (i.e., official document, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that the veterans total combined serviced-connected disability rating is 10% or more.

Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA)


Under VRA, an agency may hire eligible veterans without competition up to the GS-11 grade level. Upon satisfactory completion of two years of service in a VRA appointment, the appointee must be converted to a permanent appointment in the Federal competitive service.

To be eligible for a VRA appointment, you must have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or general discharge) and be one of the following:

  • A Disabled veteran;
  • A Veteran who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized;
  • A Veteran who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; or
  • A recently separated veterans (within 3 years).

To claim eligibility under VRA, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

  • Your DD-214(s) (reflecting character of service and type of discharge).
  • If you are claiming eligibility based on 10-point veterans' preference (CPS, CP), you are required to submit documentation that is indicated on the SF-15 as acceptable proof of verification of your preference (i.e., official document, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that the veterans total combined serviced-connected disability rating is 10% or more.

30% or More Disabled Veterans


Under this authority, an agency may appoint, without competition, an eligible disabled veteran to a term or temporary appointment in the Federal service.  In appropriate circumstances, a person receiving a temporary or term appointment under this authority may be converted to a permanent competitive service appointment.
When using this authority to appoint on a permanent basis, you are first placed on a time limited appointment of at least 60 days and then converted to a permanent appointment at management’s discretion.

To be eligible for a 30% or more disabled appointment, you must be the following:

  • Retired from active military service with a disability rating of 30 percent or more; or
  • Rated by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) as having a compensable, service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.

To claim eligibility under 30% or more disabled, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

If you are claiming eligibility based on 30% or more service connected disability, you are required to submit documentation that is indicated on the SF-15 as acceptable proof of verification of your preference (i.e., official document, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that the veterans total combined serviced-connected disability rating is 30% or more.

For more information on veteran hiring authorities

Persons with Severe Physical or Mental Disabilities (Schedule A)


To be eligible under Schedule A, you must be:

A candidate with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Under this authority, a person with severe physical disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and intellectual disabilities may be appointed without competition to an excepted service position on a temporary or non-temporary basis. Upon completion of two years of satisfactory service under a non-temporary Schedule A appointment, the appointee may be converted to a permanent appointment in the competitive service. *** Please note: This authority cannot be used for Pathways positions.

To claim eligibility under Schedule A, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

A certification statement/proof of disability from a state Vocational Rehabilitation Service (state or private), Department of Veterans Affairs, a licensed medical professional, or any Federal agency, State agency or agency of the District of Columbia or U. S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits.  Note: Certification Statement/Proof of disability (i.e., a record, statement, or other appropriate documentation confirming a severe physical, mental, or psychiatric disability) issued by a licensed medical professional, a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any Federal or State agency that issues or provides disability benefits.

Public Land Corp (PLC)


To be eligible for a Public Land Corp (PLC) appointment:

The candidate must have completed his/her most recent Corp service, which provided him/her with a total of 640 hours, inclusive of 120 hours on a PLC project as defined in 16 USC 1723(d), within the last two (2) years.  The candidate must between the ages of 16-30 (inclusive).

To claim eligibility under Public Land Corp (PLC), you must submit the following documentation with your application:

A copy of the “Certificate of Eligibility for Non-competitive Hiring Status (PLC), signed by a bureau PLC Coordinator.

Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA)


If you’re a current or former Land Management employee (Land management agencies include The Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Reclamation), who worked in a term or temporary job, you may be eligible to apply to merit promotion jobs at any federal agency.

Two groups of individuals are potentially eligible for appointment, including current and/or former employees serving or served under time-limited competitive appointments at land management agencies (as defined above). Land Management Eligiblies (LME’s) must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Current land management agency appointees:

  • must have initially been hired under competitive examining procedures to the time-limited appointment,
  • must have served under one (1) or more time-limited appointments by a land management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in service of two (2) or more years, and
  • must have performed at an acceptable level during each period of service.

Former land management agency appointees:

  • must have initially been hired under competitive examining procedures to the time-limited appointment,
  • must have served under one (1) or more time-limited appointments by a land management agency for a period totaling more than 24 months without a break in service of two (2) or more years,
  • must have performed at an acceptable level throughout the service period(s),
  • must apply for a position covered by these provisions within two (2) years after their most recent date of separation, and
  • must have been separated, with respect to their most recent separation, for reasons other than misconduct or performance.

Note: A former employee, who otherwise meets the requirements for eligibility, shall be deemed an employee of the agency from which the former employee was most recently separated.

To claim eligibility under the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA), you must submit the following documentation with your application:

  • SF-50(s) showing the above criteria
  • Employee Performance Appraisal (Employee Performance Ratings or equivalent)

For more information on the LMWFA

Indian Preference (IP)


Under this authority, preference in hiring for positions covered under the Indian Preference Policy Act of 1934 (Title 25, USC, Section 472) is afforded to those qualified individuals that are eligible for Indian preference.  Applicants selected under Indian preference will be appointed under the Excepted Service, Schedule A 213.3112(a)(7) appointing authority if not otherwise eligible.  Consideration will only be given to non-Indian applicants in the absence of qualified Indian Preference eligibles.

If claiming Indian preference eligibility you must submit the following documentation with your application:

Form BIA-4432 must be submitted with the application prior to the closing date of the announcement.  No other documentation will be accepted to verify Indian preference.

Interchange Agreements with Other Merit Systems


To be eligible for career or career-conditional appointment under an OPM Interchange Agreement or a Miscellaneous Authority not regulated by OPM, a person must:

  • Be currently serving under an appointment without time limit in another merit system or have been involuntarily separated from such appointment without personal cause within the preceding year; AND
  • Be currently serving in or have been involuntarily separated from a position covered by an interchange agreement (some agreements do not cover all positions of the other merit systems); AND
  • Have served continuously for at least 1 year in the other merit system prior to appointment under the interchange agreement.
    -OR-
    Be a current or former Foreign Service employee.
    -OR-
    Be a current:
  • Postal Career Service Employee;
  • Postal Rate Commission Employee;
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO) Employee; or
  • Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts Employee

To claim eligibility under an Interchange Agreement, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

  • A copy of your most recent SF-50 reflecting current position information and type of appointment; AND
  • Documentation that you have served in the other merit system for at least one year.

For more information on Interchange Agreements

Interagency Career Transition Assistance for Well-Qualified Surplus/Displaced Federal Employee


To be eligible for Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP), a person must:

Be a current or former permanent competitive status federal employee displaced from a position in a non-DOI federal agency (e.g., IRS, VA, Department of Labor, etc.) in the same local commuting area of the vacancy with a current (or last) performance rating of record of at least fully successful or the equivalent.

To claim eligibility under ICTAP, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

Copies of the appropriate documentation which includes:

  • Reduction in force (RIF) separation notice;
  • SF-50 reflecting your RIF separation, or a notice of proposed removal for declining a directed reassignment or transfer of function to another commuting area;
  • You MUST also submit documentation to reflect your current (or last) performance rating of record.

Career Transition Assistance for Well-Qualified Surplus/Displaced Federal Employee


To be eligible for Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), a person must:

Be a current or former permanent competitive status DOI federal employee displaced from a position in the same local commuting area of the vacancy with a current (or last) performance rating of record of at least fully successful or the equivalent.

To claim eligibility under CTAP, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

Copies of the appropriate documentation which includes:

  • Reduction in force (RIF) separation notice;
  • SF-50 reflecting your RIF separation, or a notice of proposed removal for declining a directed reassignment or transfer of function to another commuting area;
  • You MUST also submit documentation to reflect your current (or last) performance rating of record.

Pathways Interns


This authority allows for current Pathways Interns that have completed all Pathways program requirements to be non-competitively converted to a permanent or Term position in the competitive service.

To be eligible for non-competitive conversion from a Pathways Intern position, a person must:

  • Be within the 120-day conversion time-frame from the date their degree was conferred;
  • Completed at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program;
  • Completed their degree or certificate requirements;
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted;
  • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement; and,
  • Perform their job successfully

To claim eligibility for non-competitive conversion under a Pathways Intern appointment, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

Copies of the appropriate documentation including:

  • Transcripts with degree date (or document verifying anticipated degree date);
  • Current pathways agreement;
  • Current SF-50 showing Pathways status.

Other Special Non-Competitive Hiring Authorities


To be eligible for other non-competitive hiring authorities, a person must have:

Current or former service under a special authority described in 5 CFR 315 Subpart F such as: an Action Volunteer, Peace Corps, overseas employment, Canal Zone/Panama Canal, National Guard technicians, White House staff or office of the President, or Vice President etc., and certain military spouses.

To claim eligibility for non-competitive hiring authorities, you must submit the following documentation described under the applicable authority below with your application:

Former Peace Corps Employees:  Under this authority, a former Peace Corps employee (other than a volunteer) who recently completed at least 36 months of continuous service with the Peace Corps may be appointed without competition to a permanent appointment in the Federal competitive service.

  • To be eligible for appointment under this authority, you must have satisfactorily completed no less than 36 months of continuous service in the Peace Corps within the past three years.
  • To claim eligibility, you must provide a letter from the Peace Corps indicating the beginning and end dates of your service as an employee of the Peace Corps, certifying that you served satisfactorily.

Former Peace Corps Volunteers:  Under this authority, a former Peace Corps volunteer who recently completed his/her volunteer service may be appointed without competition to a permanent position in the Federal competitive service.

  • To be eligible for appointment under this authority, you must have satisfactorily completed your volunteer service in the Peace Corps within the past year.
  • To claim eligibility, you must provide a letter from the Peace Corps indicating the beginning and end dates of your volunteer service, certifying that you served satisfactorily.
  • Eligibility lasts for one year after completing your Peace Corps service. The Department of the Interior may extend the period for up to three years if, after your completed service, you are:
    1. In the military service;
    2. Studying at a recognized institution of higher learning; or
    3. Involved in another activity, which in the agency’s view, warrants an extension.

Former AmeriCorps ACTION/Vista Volunteers: Under this authority, a former ACTION/Vista volunteer who has satisfactorily completed a minimum of 1 year of continuous service may be appointed without competition to a permanent position in the Federal competitive service.

  • To be eligible for appointment under this authority, ACTION/VISTA and community volunteer service must total at least 1 year. In addition, a community volunteer must have served prior to October 1, 1976.
  • To claim eligibility, you must provide a “Certification of service” letter from the Director of ACTION certifying as having served satisfactorily as a volunteer or volunteer leader as an ACTION/VISTA volunteer or as a full-time community volunteer (including criminal justice volunteer, volunteer in justice, and VET REACH volunteer) for a minimum of 1 year of service. Eligibility lasts for one year after completing your AmeriCorps service. The Department of the Interior may extend the period for up to three years if, after your completed service, you are:
    1. In the military service;
    2. Studying at a recognized institution of higher learning; or
    3. Involved in another activity, which in the agency’s view, warrants an extension.

Military Spouses:  The Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority allows agencies to appoint certain military spouses without using traditional competitive examining procedures.

Two recent provisions have significantly impacted the non-competitive hiring authority of military spouses. These are: Executive Order (EO) 13832 titled, “Enhancing Noncompetitive Civil Service Appointments of Military Spouses” signed by the President on May 9, 2018; and Public Law 115-232, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA FY19), section 573, signed by the President on August 13, 2018.

Agencies can choose to use this authority when filling competitive service positions on a temporary (not to exceed 1 year), term (more than 1 year but not more than 4 years), or permanent basis. The authority does not entitle spouses to an appointment over any other applicant– it is used at the discretion of an agency.

In accordance with revised 5 U.S.C. 3330d(b), the head of an agency may now appoint non-competitively: the spouse of a member of the armed forces on active duty, the spouse of a 100 percent disabled member of the armed forces, or the spouse of a deceased member of the armed forces.

To be eligible for appointment under this authority, you must be the spouse of one of the following:

Active Duty Spouse

  • Includes all spouses of members of the armed forces on active duty
  • Spouses do not have to relocate with active duty spouse

Based on 100% Disability
As a military spouse, you may be eligible to be considered under this authority if:

  • The military member was retired under Chapter 61 of title 10, United States Code with a 100% disability rating from the military; or
  • Was released from active duty and has a disability rating of 100% from the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the military department.

Note: There is no geographic limitation under this category. You will be required to provide documentation of your spouse's disability.

Based on Service Member's Death
As the military spouse, you may be eligible if the military member was killed while on active duty (it does not have to be combat related), and you have not remarried.

Note: There is no geographic limitation in this category. You will be required to provide documentation on the death of the spouse and your marital status at the time of death.

Documentation Required:
To confirm eligibility the hiring agency must verify the individual has a valid marriage certificate or other documentation verifying marriage (such as any official documentation verifying a recognized common law marriage). To verify this, please submit a copy of your marriage license, and documentation to verify that the service member spouse is currently on active duty, documentation of disability as outlined above (if applicable), or documentation that the service member was killed while on active duty (and you are not remarried) (if applicable).

Noncompetitive appointment of certain former overseas employees:
This appointing authority allows an executive branch agency to noncompetitively appoint, to a competitive service position an individual who has completed 52 weeks of creditable overseas service.

To be eligible for appointment under this authority, you must be:

  • employed overseas as an Appropriated Fund employee AND have:
  • completed 52 weeks of creditable overseas service in an appropriated fund position(s) as a family member during the time you accompanied a sponsor officially assigned to an overseas area; AND,
  • receive a fully successful or better (or equivalent) performance rating; AND,
  • return to the United States to resume residence less than 3 years ago.

To claim eligibility, you must provide a copy of your latest Notification of Personnel Action, Standard Form 50, and performance appraisal.

For more information, review USAJOBS Former Overseas Employees resources. USAJOBS Former Overseas Employees resources.

Please note: There may be other non-competitive hiring authorities that you are eligible for.  The above is a list of some of the common authorities and what you must submit with your application.  Additionally, please understand that the above is not an all-inclusive list of available hiring authorities, and it is your responsibility to ensure you properly claim and submit the required documentation to support your eligibility claim.